PARK RIDGE, ILLINOIS (www.incnow.tv) - The Big Ten Sunday announced football division alignments set to begin in 2014 and nine game conference schedules set to start in 2016.
The new division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division.
All schools in the East Division are in the eastern time zone and all schools in the West Division are in the central time zone with the exception of Purdue.
Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight game schedules.
Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine game schedule. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue.
With the start of the nine game conference schedule in 2016, teams from the East Division will host five conference home games during even-numbered years, while teams from the West Division will host five conference home games during odd-numbered years.
The Big Ten is returning to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
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